tv MSNBC Live MSNBC August 31, 2016 7:00am-8:01am PDT
undocumented immigrants? from the start of his campaign, donald trump has derided mexico and mexican immigrants as well from time to time. for their part, mexican liters including president knee eight toe himself. five months ago he compared trump's rise to hitler's and muse lean anies. what he has talked about on the campaign trail, open borders. what's really happening along the southern bofr der. we send jacob soap rof to check it out. he is there live for us this morning. our team is in place across mexico and the united states this morning. we start with nbc's miguel almaguer in mexico city. he joins me now on the phone. again at last check, we were told this meeting was expected to happen around 2:00 this afternoon eastern time. how did this thing come about? what do we realistically expect to come from this face-to-face? >> reporter: it sounds like this will be a very short meeting, at
least according to some of the officials we have talked to, between the president here in mexico and donald trump. we expect them to talk about illegal immigration, trade policy and of course drugs. as we were coming in here to mexico city, this was certainly the talk of the city and the talk of the country, fob quite frank here. during talk radio, you could hear people calling in. the sentiment of the country seems to be one of bewilderment that mr. trump would come here and quite a bit of anger, many saying they don't welcome here. in a recent poll by mexican media, only 4% of mexican haves a good opinion of mr. trump. that's in stark contrast with hillary clinton who hovers around 77%. so we do know mr. trump will make his way here against some folks that are very reluctant to see him or possibly even host him. that will be happening here, craig, it looks like in the next few hours. >> also this new twitter war that started a short time ago
here. donald trump tweeting first, quote, former president vincente fox who is raling against my visit to mexico also invited me when he apologized for using the f bomb. fox responding, quote, mexico does not want donald trump, mexico will never trump him. let's not allow him to use our country for his own interest. we know what donald trump hopes to get out of this meeting. what doesn't nieto, what does he get out of this thing? >> it sounds like he gets out of it -- his poll numbers are also suffering here, craig. he's hovering in terms of his popularity in this country about 22%. some political pundits hearsay he doesn't have much to lose, but fox, the former president has urged the current president to take a very strong stance on immigration, including that wall, saying mexico will not pay
a single cent for any wall built between the united states and mexico. it could be a political move by the president here. although that doesn't seem to be the case right now, craig. >> miguel almaguer on the ground for us there in mexico where, again, that meeting expected to happen in roughly four hours. miguel we'll come back in just a bit. donald trump has been one of the most outspoken critics of mexico and the mexican people as well from time to time. here is just a bit of what he said in the past. >> when mexico sends its people, they're not sending their best. they're bringing drugs. they're bringing crime. they're rapists and some, i assume are good people. >> great danger with the illegals. we're just discussing that. we have a tremendous danger on the border with the illegals coming in. >> one of your ex-presidents of mexico, i believe it was caldron. he said, trump, we will not pay for the wall. ten feet taller, and every time
they protest, it's going to go up a little bit higher. >> katy tur joins me now. katy, you have been there literally since the beginning of this campaign when trump famously called mexican immigrants rapists and murderers. what's at stake for donald trump today? >> reporter: donald trump is trying to show he is a leader who can literally reach across borders. that is what is at stake for him. if he goes down there and is met with an overwhelmingly negative response and also be readed in public by the mexican president, that could not bode well for donald trump here in the states, if he's humiliated by him. that also could be what president pena nieto is hoping the get out of this, showing himself to be a good leader. donald trump is trying to look like somebody who can go places other leaders can't. he can say what he wants to say, he can tell the truth, he says, on the campaign trail and still
go to an antagonistic country and have diplomatic relations with them. that's what he is trying to gain. of course, this is a very tricky situation for him, craig. donald trump has been openly antagonistic towards mexico for years, going back before this campaign started when he was tweeting about the corrupt judicial system in mexico after a lawsuit he was embroiled in down there. a few months later he announced he was running for president and said mexico was sending over criminals and rapists over the border and some he assumes are good people. since then on the campaign trail building a wall has been donald trump's calling card. he has said whenever mexico has criticized him or said they would not pay for such a wall, when caldron has said this, vincente fox, pena nieto said this, he said it will be ten feet higher. how is he going to be able to
reconcile that when he face it is mexican president? this is a private meeting so it's unclear what information we'll get out of it unless there is some sort of press conference afterwards. we are hearing there could be that. remember, the traveling press so far is not going with donald trump to mexico. >> this news conference that could happen, joint news conference or just donald trump? what are you hearing? >> reporter: it's unclear at the moment what sort of news conference could be happening down there. >> kellyanne conway was on the "today" show this morning, donald trump's new campaign manager. here is a bit of what she said. >> it's a decisive presidential move. he wants to establish a conversation with a neighboring country, a leader, and also to discuss the common problems and challenges that our countries face. >> how much of a risk is this for donald trump, katy? >> reporter: well, it is a risk for him. if he's down there and he's met with an overwhelmingly negative response, if the mexican
president comes out and berates him and says they've come to no conclusions, they haven't made their relationship any better, makes a show of trying to humiliate donald trump -- after all, he is a not popular figure down in mexico, then he could come out looking like a weak leader. what he stands to gain and what the campaign is betting on, he's going to look like somebody who can reach across the aisle, somebody who can be a truth teller at home, but still face people he's been antagonistic with in other countries. they're gambling that the gains on this will outweigh any potential negative effects, especially with his base of supporters who believe that donald trump has the ability to negotiate. he's a deal maker. that's what he's been running on since day one. >> katy tur for us covering the trump campaign. katy, thanks as always. after that meeting with mexico's president, donald trump then traveled to arizona to deliver a highly anticipated speech on what has become his
signature campaign issue, immigration. nbc's hallie jackson is there for us along with u.s.-mexico border this morning. hallie, donald trump has been talking about immigration reform from day one. his exact proposals have been, shall we say, muddies a bit in recent weeks. >> reporter: you're right, craig. here is what we do know. trump's number one priority he says, his team says, is to secure the border. for trump that means building a wall. this is a fence, not a wall, here in south earn arizona as trump gets ready to make his trip across the border later today from california. the question becomes though, what does he plan to do with the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants living here illegally. he's talked in the past about a deportation force. they tell us trump was referring to i.c.e. he hasn't made that specifically clear.
his campaign manager reiterated again in the last 12 hours that, hey, he hasn't talked about the deportation force in a while. does that mean he's going to send every single 11 million illegal immigrants back home? will it be an idea of self-deportation or deportation by attrition? that's what the muddy part is. that's what his team promised trump will give answers to at that speech tonight. can't emphasize enough what a day this s. hoip you have plenty of coffee ready. he has the mexico visit, the president conference there and the speech later tonight. caffeine up, my friend. >> in terms of the speech there tonight in phoenix, who is the audience? who do we expect donald trump will be speaking to, not just in the room? >> reporter: it's kind of a rally, right? not just in the room, right. he's obviously speaking the supporters here in arizona. it will be a friendly reception for him in the room. it's going to be obviously very
different than if he were delivering the speech in mexico city, for example. outside the room, the audience is not just his base. he's got to be able to remind his base how he got here in the first place which is by being strong on immigration. the other part he's got to do is try to broaden his appeal beyond the primary supporters who voted for him in the spring and into the summertime. that is essential for donald trump because he's got to be able to show that he can now reach out to some of these more moderate republicans, some of these independents, democrats who may be on the fence with an immigration policy they want to see. i will tell you this, in my conversations over the last two days with, by the way, trump supporters, people on his hispanic advisory council, with people who want a tougher immigration stance just like trump, there is a fence that if he walks back the sense of a deportation force, his hard-line stance of what to do with the 11 million, he will still be okay with his base of support, he will still get their backing. again, his campaign manager very
cagey about this, you've heard his running mate, mike pence, being cage gentlemen aboy as we. we'll find out in less than 12 hours. >> hallie jackson here in the united states of america, but literally a few feet away from mexico, thanks as always. rig figueroa is a member of the aforementioned national hispanic advisory board. thanks for carving out time this morning. let's start with where hallie just left off. if tonight after the speech in phoenix it appears donald trump has walked back to a certain extent some of the enforcement, what is that going to do for his core base of support, if anything? >> charlie, good see you, too. i think it's going to do a lot. i think donald trump is a businessman. if there's one thing you learn about in business is adapting, is a big issue, you have to adapt. that's important and you listen.
when i was able to speak with mr. trump in his office, it was a moment where you could see he was processing what we were telling him. he was listening with intent and he was determined to try to figure this problem out. it's a problem that's been around for a long time. it's been a political football for many years that just seems to be used as a weapon during election season and then ignored. people are suffering for it. >> rick, this conversation that you had with mr. trump and this adaptation, if you will, are you saying then that, if he does sort of perhaps change his position to a certain extent, it's because he's had conversations with hispanics all over this country and they've changed his mind, they've changed his heart? or is this more about him looking at abysmal poll numbers and concluding, we've got to do something? >> i want to believe in the former as opinion post to the latter. i believe that him listening to us, hearing our hearts and our passion, our commitment to
conservative causes in the hispanic community and him aligning himself with that. i think he has intent to grow this country, and order on the border is important. the national sovereignty is important. i think he's driven towards that. i think it's important that he figures out exactly where our voice hands. i was honored to be in that room to give him that voice. how he changes his mind, that's up to mr. trump. i believe it's the evolution as opposed to a changing, i think it's an evolving process. >> i want to play some sound ahead of this meeting with president nieto. this is a little bit of what donald trump has said about mexico starting with the very first day of his campaign. here it is. >> when mexico sends its people, they're not sending their best. they're bringing drugs. they're bringing crime. they're rapists, and some i assume are good people. >> who is going the pay for the
wall? >> mexico! >> who? >> mexico! >> 100%. >> should he ask them to pay for the wall at the meeting? >> charlie, that's not my call. i would have probably delivered the message different. that's mr. trump's style. that's who he is and he's authentic. i think in houston, here in houston, sex trafficking is a huge problem. and the people that suffer the most are the people who have to live in the shadows. i think somebody has got to pull the curtain back on this thing. doing that is going to free a lot of people. it may be hard up front because there's going to be some challenges, and i think we all agree there. >> you don't honestly believe there's going to be a wall built. >> whether the wall is a virtual wall or a real wall that's correct not my call. i'm not a politician. i couldn't tell you if that's my -- i think sovereignty is important in a nation.
i think it's important our government protect the sovereignty of our nation. how that happens, i'm going to let the experts on enforcement of that -- i'll let them speak to that. >> quickly here, birth right citizenship, should he call for an end to that as well? >> what i would like to see -- again, i'm not on mr. trump's policy team. i think that's something that should stay in play. i believe it's a precious gift that we're given, giving birth here in the united states and being a citizen. i would like to see it stay. >> rick figueroa, part of the hispanic advisory group. thank you for your time. you can watch trump's immigration policy speech right here on msnbc. that's tonight live 9:00 eastern. one arizona lawmaker says his region stands to lose the most if trump builds the wall. the congressman joins me next. later, we'll take you to the u.s. mexico border.
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high profile trip to mexico is getting support from a fellow republican who has been highly critical of trum's take on immigration. let's go to phoenix where nbc's kelly o'donnell talked to arizona senator jeff flake. what did he say? >> as you point out, jeff flake is in an interesting position. as an arizona senator, he has been involved in the immigration debate, views it as those in arizona do as a much more complex issue than some might have. we met up with him at the mccain victory party last night,
senator mccain clearing his primary hurdle where immigration was a part of that. it's so much of a backdrop of the politics here in arizona. because jeff flake has been privately critical of mr. trump and also publicly, they had some sparring in person, i wanted to know what he thinks of trump's decision to visit mexico. here is what senator flake told me? >> i'm glad he's going. i hope when he sits down with the mexican president, that the mexican president will tell him how important nafta is, for example, for both our countries, to tell him those crossing the border reasonable mexico's worst, that they aren't rapists, tell him this is an complicated issue, an important partnership we have. we have to be serious and not just throw platitudes about some wall and making mexico sf paying for it. i think he'll be disabused of the notion you can say things like that without consequence.
>> reporter: part of what senator flake was trying to say is in arizona issues that relate to mexico, immigration, the treatment of hispanic americans aren't just important to hispanic arizonans. it's a broader reaction in a state like this. as he put it, they live with these issues every day. it might be notable to some that flake thinks it's a good idea for trump to make this trip. he was optimistic about what it might produce. when i asked him do you think it could really make a difference, is it more sort of publicity stunt versus statesmanship trip which is always a potential when any candidate goes abroad during a campaign year. he said he didn't want to ascribe any motives, he's glad he's going and thinks he may come back with some different impressions and that might influence what he says here tonight in phoenix for the big immigration speech. >> kelly o. from phoenix, arizona, on this wednesday morning, kelly, thanks as always. let's bring in congressman
hala, co-chairman of the progressive caucus as well. let me start by getting your general reaction to mr. trump's trip to mexico. do you think -- are you optimistic that anything can be accomplished? >> not terribly optimistic. i think trump's visit to mexico is a campaign strategy and an effort for his campaign to make him appear less unbalanced. he gets to go to mexico, pretend he's a statesman, try to give that image and also pre tent he has capacity for leadership. whatever he has to say in mexico, it's going to be very difficult for him to walk back everything he's been saying for the last year and a half relative to mexico, mexicans, immigrants and the wall situation. so it's a campaign stop. that's how i see it. i'm not optimistic he'll have an
epiphany and come back with immigration, trade and the common decency of how we should treat each other in this country. >> let's talk about the speech there tonight in your state. what are your expectations? what would you like too hear from mr. trump? what do you think we will likely hear from mr. trump? >> craig, there's a backdrop that i think is important to the speech. he's in phoenix. two of his biggest supporters in the state of arizona, surrogates both here and nationally, sheriff joe arpaio and former governor brewer i'm sure will be there as part of the support team for him. brewer passed the most brew tall anti immigrant law and signed it into law here in arizona. that's been neutered by the supreme court who found three-quarters of it to be constitutional and one still proceeding along that challenge
as well. joe arpaio has cost $50 million to the taxpayers with racial profiling, abuse of power. his case has been deferred to the justice department for possible indictments under issues of contempt and the -- essentially spying on federal judges during his trial on the other charges. that's the backdrop. that's the tone. as soon as you see that, that's the tone you're going to hear. i don't know how he walks back. i don't know how he softens. i don't know how he moderates, his positions he's taking in the past, the position -- somebody said is this a change of heart moment. no, this is pure and simple, a political strategy. he sees his path to the presidency is impossible without making some -- cutting into areas. the latino vote is one of them. i don't see this is going to affect the opposition in the
latino community among voters, latino voters to trump. >> congressman grvala, where dr. will give that much anticipated immigration speech tonight. thank you. >> thank you, craig. before that speech tonight, again, donald trump heading to mexico. he is set to touch down in that country roughly two hours from now. we'll check in with our team on the ground. there we'll also take a closer look at precisely what donald trump has said about our neighbors to the south using his platform of choice, the internet. this one's got detachable keys it comes with a pen so you can write as you please this mac doesn't have any of that it's less useful like a hat for your cat surface has touch and a beautiful screen you can see things like they've never been seen this mac doesn't quite compare it's slower, heavy, and a bit square fold it in half, hello when you start lighr than air, you can doodle a heart
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diabetic nerve pain. lyrica may cause serious allergic reactions or suicidal thoughts or actions. tell your doctor right away if you have these, new or worning depression, or unusual changes in mood or behavior. or swelling, trouble breathing, rash, hives, blisters, muscle pain with fever, tired feeling or blurry vision. common side effects are dizziness, sleepiness, weight gain and swelling of hands, legs, and feet. don't drink alcohol while taking lyrica. don't drive or use machinery until you know how lyrica affects you. those who have had a drug or alcohol problem may be more likely to misuse lyrica. now i have less diabetic nerve pain. and these feet would like to keep the beat going. ask your doctor about lyrica. to mexico coming after months of tough talk and tweets aimed at mexico. msnbc's cal perry has been following the very rich twitter trail. what did you find, sir?
>> i'm following it. so is hillary clinton. hillary clinton already put out this morning basically in chronological order all of donald trump's tweets on mexico. we have five for you here. just to make it clear to our viewers, the views on mexico that donald trump holds, they predate his running for president. this is before he announced he was running for president. this is in regard to a lawsuit he had with a mexican businessman as well as the mission universe pageant, don't do business with mexico. that's the headline there. the next one is from june of 2015. he stays consistent in his inconsistency. he loves the mexican people but doesn't like mexico. they're killing us. he should fight everything with an exclamation point. he talks about strong borders. this is from last summer, mexico is killing us on trade. that's his consistent message. he harps on about mexican judges. this is that lawsuit about trump university which was bogged down in the political season. this is the infamous tweet, the
one so many hispanics here in america have had an issue with. this is one he has not been able to shake. >> cinco de mayo. >> the famous tweet about the trump tower grill. >> i remember that. he hasn't just tweeted about mexico, but also done tweeting about latinos as well here in the united states. what do you have on that? >> we've got an advertisement for you. this is one of his first campaign ads, if we can pull that video, in which he talks about people streaming across the border. in this video he shows this video from above, this aerial photography of people streaming across the border. you may remember it, it's from january of this year. it wasn't from the mexican border. it turned out to be from a spanish enclave off the coast of morocco. we report on it immediately. his campaign, not backing down. they said we hent to do this 1,000 percent. they don't back away from the issue he constantly has. he has to close this gap. talking about hispanic voters
polling at 50 percentage points higher for hillary clinton. this is something he's got to close the gap on. >> all right, cal perry for us there, reminding us of the digital trail that's out there. thank you. we will see hillary clinton in just a couple of hours in cincinnati, ohio. her campaign no surprise, blasting donald trump's visit to mexico. this morning the campaign sending out what they're calling a refresher on all the things that trump has said about mexico, listing all of his tweets about mechanics koechlt nbc's kristen welker covering the clinton campaign where she'll be speaking this afternoon, i believe addressing an american legion group. what are we expecting to hear from the democratic nominee, kristen? >> reporter: she's going to talk about american exceptionalism, talk about the importance of the united states having strong relations with its allies. of course that a direct swipe at
donald trump who has questioned the u.s. relation with nato, has suggested that that might be on shaky ground if he were to be elected president. behind the scenes, the campaign slamming donald trump for this visit to go to mexico and reminding, as you just pointed out, voters of all the controversial comments he's made, not only in those tweets, but in a statement released overnight. the statement reads in part, quote, donald trump has painted mexicans as rapists and criminals and promised to deport 16 million people including children and u.s. citizens. what ultimately matters is what donald trump says to voters in arizona, not mexico, and whether he remains committed to the splitting up of families and the deportation of millions. you heard cal mention those poll numbers. donald trump currently trails secretary clinton in the polls. according to our latest nbc news-"wall street journal" poll, 76% to 14%. that's a huge gap. secretary clinton is going to
try to use this visit to harness momentum to build on the lead she has. let's just remind our viewers of secretary clinton's immigration policies. donald trump has been slamming her. he said she's soft on immigration. what is she really saying? part of her immigration plan is a lot like donald trump's. she calls for deporting all violent criminals. that's what donald trump is saying. she's also calling for new investments in border security including new fencing, and she calls for setting up a pathway for citizenship. that is something we haven't heard from donald trump. she's really building on taking a page from that 2013 bipartisan legislation, craig, that stalled in the house of representatives, and she has called for expanding some of the policies that president obama has put into place, executive actions like daba and daka. that's a reminder to folks about what she is saying on this issue. today the focus will be on american exceptionalism when she
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community. not only insulting us, but also talking about different policies he would enact to deport many of us. most of my family is undocumented. i have lived in arizona for many years, and i know that arizona is that place where all these immigration laws have been implemented and they've been the harshest to our community. so i don't think there's anything he can say right now that is going to really take back everything that he has said about us in his previous comments. >> we heard from trump, i think it was last week, in that fox town hall, and we heard from a gentleman at the top of the broadcast here who sort of gave the impression that perhaps these conversations that trump has been having with hispanics all over this country, that perhaps these conversations may have had some sort of effect on him. do you think it's possible that he has had some sort of change of heart? >> well, you know, what worries me is not only his change of
heart or what he would think, but it's also who he has behind him. he has many, many times come out on tv or in his speeches with sheriff joe arpaio. you have steve king, some of the most anti immigrant figures in this country who have not talked about ups in a derogatory way, but have actually acted upon anti immigrant sentiment. sheriff joe arpaio is one of the worst sheriffs in our entire country who has done damage in our community in arizona. he's right on his side, been right on his side. it's not enough to just change rhetoric. yes, i'm a doca person, if he comes and gets rid of it, it's going to be detrimental to our communities. we have to make sure on the other side, we want to make sure we have a democratic president who is not also going to follow the deportation machine that president obama has continued.
so for us it's about our families, making sure we have the right actions and that is not just the rhetoric from both parties. >> erica, you say deportation machine. others would say the president of the united states is charged with enforcing the law. how do you reconcile the two? >> i can tell you the president is the president that has deported the most people in the history of the united states. unfortunately we were not able to get immigration reform. on the contrary, we got millions and millions of deportations. it doesn't have to continue to be that way. we can close down all the deportation programs in the local level. we the close down detention center whose have right now millions of our undocumented community behind bars. to us it's really again, it's about our communities, not just about the rhetoric that both candidates have right now. i think hillary clinton has talked about making sure we are stopping those deportations and those first hundred days she has promised on immigration reform, we'll make sure it's not only about immigration reform but
also about making sure the deportation machine that obama created has changed and it doesn't continue to hurt our communities in the long run. >> erica andiola, dreamer and activist. thank you so much. >> thank you. crunching the numbers on trump's immigration proposals. we've dug deep into this one. how much would the kind of tougher enforcement he's been touting, how much would it cost the taxpayer? we'll take a look at that. of course, you can watch donald trump's immigration policy speech right here on msnbc tonig tonight at 9:00 eastern. yet here you are building a t engine. well, ge is digital and industrial. like peanut butter and jelly. yeah. ham and cheese. cops and robbers. yeah. nachos and karate. ahh. not that one so much. the rest were really good.
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more. msnbc's chief legal correspond ari melber is here. he joins me now with some answers. so assuming that mr. trump is not going to be able to convince president nieto to pay for the wall, how much will the wall and some of these other proposals cost or do we know? >> i think it's a safe assumption that we won't see it happen likely today or any other day because we don't have in world history a record of a time where one country could unilaterally successfully build another for that work. that's just a fact. so $25 billion plus is what we're looking at if you actually construct it. >> b, billion. >> $25 billion plus would be what that wall or set offenses would cost. the other point is, donald trump, when he's in the united states talking about mexico really emphasizes the idea that there's a criminal element, crimes being committed, that there's a threat. that's certainly true up to a point. but we want to give context on
this on the legal and policy ramifications. it's about $690,000 people or 6% or the undocumented population that is convicted of felonies or serious misdemeanors. that's a serious thing and donald trump is certainly right and connecting with victims' families when he speaks about the level of crime. having said that, it's a tiny share of the total undocumented and we have to hear tonight what his plans are for that. >> we should note as well, $25 billion, the price tag associated with building the wall, i assume that doesn't cover the cost of maintaining the wall every year. >> absolutely. it doesn't cover that, doesn't cover what you would do around the wall. the other number to put out that we have new from dhs is how many people have been removed this year. 210,000 undocumented removed from i.c.e. if you're talking about saying you want to get what he's calling a deportation force and up that to a million or 2 million or 5 million, logic
would dictate a five or ten or 20-fold increase in spending. that's a lot of money. >> there also seems to be confusion of late over the role of i.c.e. and whether it is i.c.e.'s role to round up every illegal immigrant in this country. as i understand it, that's not part of their charge. >> that's not what they do at all. it will be interesting to hear donald trump clarify if he wants to change i.c.e.'s mission to do that. they focus on the border and convicted criminals. they don't do interior roundups. if you have to fund it or do this new deportation force. these are the questions swirling around. maybe we'll get some answers tonight. >> ari melber digging deep, spending so much time on the research, didn't have time to hit the face this morning. >> well, that's a theory. >> we always learn something. >> thank you, craig. >> coming up, crossing the line. the border wall, donald trump has been talking about, the wall we've been talking about.
it does exist in some places. our very own jacob soboroff has seen it. what do you have for us, good sir? >> reporter: craig, it is a fascinating story from right here on the u.s.-mexico border. it's very foggy. we're told by border patrol this time of day is when you can expect people to try to cross the border illegally under the cover of this fog. it turns out on the border there are some places the wall does not exist and they may not want a wall. we'll tell you why and show you why when we come back right here on msnbc. (vo) stank face. a universal expression of disgust, often caused by inadequate cat litter. if you or your a loved one suffers from stank face, the cure is tidy cats. it's new and improved with guaranteed tidylock protection that locks away odors. so you don't have to face one more stank face. tidy cats. every home, every cat. there's a tidy cats for that.
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donald trump expected by many to double town on that border wall proposal tonight in phoenix. it has been the centerpiece of his policy to fight illegal immigration crossings. but would a wall make a difference? msnbc's jacob soboroff joins me now from the u.s.-mexico border near san diego. i understand you recently spent
time at the border with federal agents where there's no wall, no fence. what did they tell you? >> reporter: we sure did, craig. right now we're at a place where there actually is a wall. if you look through the fog, as i told you earlier, the fog is a time when people do try to cross the border illegally, you can see what's called the secondary fence there, just the outline of it and a surveillance tower up above where they have video cameras here on the border. not all places on the u.s.-mexico border have this type of technology, infrastructure and manpower to prevent people from crossing illegally. donald trump has made this a center piece of his campaign and we know the refrain, he's going to build a great wall along the border. let's do a reality check. does the border patrol want this? that's what i came here to find out? >> a double fence basically. >> a double fence. the primary fence main purpose is to stop the vehicle flow from entering into the united states. >> this is a secondary?
>> yes. the secondary fence is used to deter illegal migrants from entering into the united states. >> reporter: there are nine sectors of the border patrol along our border with mexico, each has its own topography, length and challenges. of the 1,989 miles we share the border with mexico, agents will tell you where there's a border, wall or not, some people try to cross it. >> there are people sticking their heads over right there. >> that's it. these are scouters or mugglers. >> you're sure those people are scouting out in order to do something illegal? >> more than likely they are, yes. >> so this point right here is the end of the border fence? >> of the primary fence. that's mexico on the other side. >> that's mexico. >> yes. >> u.s.-mexico. >> you say you can do --
>> on top of the mountain we have two border patrol agents who patrol constantly day and night. >> reporter: last year agents caught 26,290 people trying to cross illegally in the sector. it sounds high, but thanks to increased enforcement including fencing but also more technology and manpower, when you care it to the all-time high of almost 630,000 in 1986, apprehensions here and across the country are near all-time lows. in 1986, the border patrol caught over 1.6 million people, the most ever. last year that number was just over 330,000. so i can see people watching this at home and saying, jacob is standing where there's no border fence. that's why we need a donald trump border wall that stretches all the way across the country. >> we manage what we have right now, it works perfectly for us. >> these are you guys, too, huh?
>> oh, that was beautiful. >> reporter: craig, it's important to note, if you talk to border patrol agents across the country, they're not all going to share the same opinion of agents in the san diego sector, if you look at places like texas, the rio grande sector there, they had a huge influx of undocumented immigrants during the central american migrant crisis. if you look more globally at the numbers across the entire southern border, those numbers of people apprehended at the southern border, it's at an all-time low. the fiscal 2017 budget request, they're doing it with technology and manpower in addition to a border wall. at this point the border patrol is not requesting any additional funds for a new wall. >> fascinating piece, very insightful. have you seen anyone trying to cross this morning since you've been there? >> reporter: that's a great question. because it's so foggy this morning, we actually haven't
seen anybody. by if you listen very carefully, and we heard earlier what appeared to be or what sounded like border patrol agents down this way telling people to get down on the ground, and we've been told by border patrol that we should expect it, we should expect to hear activity this morning. each and every day, up to 85 people, as we said in the piece, are caught trying to cross in this sector. >> jacob soboroff separating fact from fiction this morning along the u.s.-mexico border. thank you, my friend. much, much more on donald trump's surprise visit to mexico next. just by looking in my eyes. they can tell when i'm really excited and thrilled. and they know when i'm not so excited and thrilled. but what they didn't know was that i had dry, itchy eyes. but i knew. so i finally decided to show my eyes some love. some eyelove. when is it chronic dry eye? to find out more, chat with your eye doctor and go to myeyelove.com.
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city in an hour and a half from now for that surprise private meeting with mexican president en rooek reeg kay pena nieto. president nieto's office says invayations were sent last week to both trump and hillary clinton and this afternoon's meeting will take place at temperatural palace in mexico city. according to sources who talked to nbc's andrea mitchell, the state department actually advised trump against the visit because there was no time to plan it out. >> this kind of visit is very difficult to organize. the state department is not used to moving that quickly for a high profile visitor. and donald trump is controversial in mexico. >> hillary clinton's communications director released a statement saying, from the first days of his campaign, donald trump has painted mexicans as rapists and criminals and has promi